So much goes into buying a home that we often forget how much planning goes into its upkeep, maintenance, and bills to keep it running.
Home should be where you relax and get away from the world, but that can be hard to do when you realize something was left unfinished every time you sit down.
There’s no need to dread housework or the attempts of begging your family to help around the home when you’ve taken the precautionary steps like filing for a homestead tax exemption, found protection class 10 homeowners insurance, and have implemented a seamless chore system.
These things are easier to list than they are to do, but here are a few tips to help take the chaos out of running a home.
What to do When Starting New
After moving to a new home, there are so many things to do that not feeling overwhelmed might make you superhuman.
Being meticulous in box labeling and placement is only step one, and whether you’re moving or reorganizing, a few of these strategies should help you put the “om” in home faster than going in blind.
Deep Clean Your House
Whenever I’m reorganizing, I like to start with a deep clean. Deep cleaning can take hours, but going section by section helps you accomplish more per room. One of the biggest annoyances is noticing you have to do the same step twice. Eliminate that by completing one full room at a time.
If you have a spouse or even a teen, use them to help. A few different ways to accomplish speedier cleanups are:
- Do each task as a team.
- Assign a job to each person to create an assembly line.
- Split the tasks in half and compete on who gets it done the fastest and the best. Use a points system, or just vote depending on how many are in your household and allow the winner to pick dinner.
- Alternate days. Pick days to clean and replace, and others to get done the everyday chores that get in the way. Switching it up will keep organization and moving from feeling like one overwhelming task.
Make Games Out of Chores
Start by creating a seasonal home maintenance checklist. Keeping up with the various seasonal demands of home maintenance helps avoid small tasks from turning into big problems.
Even chores as simple as dusting from week to week may seem insignificant, but dusting after an entire month of buildup can be a shocking picture.
Cleaning an entire home is a lot of responsibility for one person, and moms of younger children tend to bear this burden all by themselves. Just as you hated chores as a kid, yours probably do too, so make living well fun.
Use the hobbies and topics that your child is into to make the lesson of keeping your space clean and the benefits of doing so fun. If this sounds like a good idea, but you’re not sure where to start, here is a small list of games to try:
- Scavenger hunt: Hide toys, money, candy, or any kind of motivator for your kids to find. This works for all ages, making it a timeless strategy.
- Jenga: Put cleaning tasks on each block and play. The winners get to swap out one chore of their choice with the loser.
- Social media: Use TikTok and other trends to film funny videos while you clean. Even just posting before and after pictures can feel extremely rewarding.
- Musical cleaning: Everyone cleans until the music stops. Pass the controller around, or create a reward system. Keep playing until cleaning is done.
Keep Up with Home Responsibilities
Unarguably one of the most stressful components of house upkeep is paying the bills. Our bills’ actual costs can end up costing us money, time, and attention when we let them become overbearing.
Here are a few ways you can make money management slightly less painful and maybe even a little fun:
- Create a payment checklist. Checking things off each month will give you a greater feeling of accomplishment.
- Find out what can be put on autopay. The great thing about autopay is that you’ll never be late. The best way to do this is to pick two to three dates out of the month when you can expect certain amounts to be withdrawn. For me, Sundays are typically lazy days when I don’t spend much money, so the second Sunday of each month is best.
- Create an “Oh Snap” bill: Each month, set aside a budgeted amount to pay an “Oh Snap” bill. Owning a home or vehicle can bring up unexpected expenses. An “Oh Snap” bill will be a beginning step to covering any unexpected costs that could make a financially damaging issue just a minor inconvenience.
Save Money for the Unexpected
The more you can anticipate an extra expense, the more comfortable covering those unfortunate times will be. It can be tempting to spend that extra cash but put it aside where you won’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind truly works when it comes to organizing your monthly expenses.
A list of expenses that can take us by surprise and cause financial strain are:
- Water heaters: They should be replaced about every ten years.
- Washer and dryers: These appliances often last eight to 10 years.
- Refrigerators: These should be replaced every 11-20 years.
- Roofing: Roofing needs vary widely, but they usually need maintenance every 12-20 years.
- Car tires: Replace them every six years, given there are no issues beforehand.
- Home insurance claims: Use this for accidents and other unforeseen issues.
Despite the long periods of some of these expenses, considering the need for these household repairs will help you stay on top of your finances, even when damage is being fixed. All the appliances we use every day but don’t think about eventually will eventually rob our attention, but if you can help it, they won’t take your wallet too.
Identify What You Do Best
Yes, you can learn from yourself. What bills or household tasks are you completing with ease? Try to use the same payment strategy for what is going well for what you tend to forget.
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by adulting, take a deep breath because we’ve all been there. Trying a few of these tools out may seem uncomfortable at first, but it will become an everyday routine after a few months. Give them a real chance if you’ve been struggling or even if you just want to have a fresh start.
Don’t allow any of the systems you implement to cause greater stress. Everyone has a personal style of running their home and finances, and it’s okay to do things differently.
Find what works for you, what makes teaching future generations easy, and what can be more avenues for keeping you and your loved ones connected.
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches home insurance for the insurance education and free quote comparison site, TheTruthAboutInsurance.com. As a young homeowner, Danielle had to find ways to stay on top of bills and household duties. She has also aided young mothers in home decor and organization.
Featured Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels